Canada and the European Union: Advancing the Transatlantic Agenda

April 1 2010

By Dana Gabriel

Although there is a need for Canada to expand its trade horizons, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) currently being negotiated with the European Union (EU) appears to be based on the flawed NAFTA model. Many view it as an opportunity to decrease its trade reliance on the U.S., but it could serve to accelerate the corporate takeover of the country.

The deal would exceed NAFTA in its scope and with the third round of negotiations scheduled for April 19-23 in Ottawa, there are lingering concerns regarding its lack of transparency. A Canada-EU CETA could be used to expand NAFTA, strengthen U.S.-EU economic relations and further advance the transatlantic agenda.

Some believe that the recent Canada-U.S. Agreement on Government Procurement is an important step in providing protection for future bilateral trade relations, but in the process it opens up provincial and municipal contracts to foreign corporations.

Maude Barlow and Stuart Trew of the Council of Canadians criticized the Conservative government for giving up too much and receiving too little. In an collaborative article they emphasized that, “The provinces have been loath to sign the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement and did not agree to include subnational procurement in NAFTA because they could lose too much say in how public money is spent without getting any new access to the U.S. market.” They went on to say, “We believe the Buy American controversy provided Harper and the provinces, who are actively engaged in ambitious free-trade talks with Europe, with an opportunity to restructure the Canadian economy to reduce the role of our communities in setting spending priorities.”

As part of the proposed CETA with Canada, one of the EU’s top objectives includes gaining access to procurement and services in areas of health, energy, water, as well as other sectors. The Canada-U.S. Buy American deal is an extension of NAFTA and has set a precedent which could further reinforce EU demands.

In mid-December 2009, Internet law columnist Michael Geist reported that the EU had proposed negotiating an intellectual property chapter which could reshape Canadian copyright law. He stated that, “While the leaked document may only represent the starting European position, there is little doubt there will be enormous pressure on Canadian negotiators to cave on the IP provision in return for ‘gains’ in other areas.” This also ties into Canada’s participation in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations which also include the EU, U.S. and other nations. With respect to the Canada-EU CETA, Geist also acknowledged that, “When combined with ACTA, the two agreements would render Canadian copyright law virtually unrecognizable as Canada would be required to undertake a significant rewrite of its law. The notion of a ‘made-in-Canada’ approach – already under threat from ACTA – would be lost entirely, replaced by a made-in-Washington-and-Brussels law.” Both the U.S. and the EU have singled out Canada for criticism on intellectual property and are pressing for copyright along with other reforms. Conceding to such demands could severely compromise Canadian interests.

Opposition to the scope and process of Canada-EU trade negotiations is increasing. The talks have been marred by secrecy, with little disclosure on the part of the Canadian government and hardly a mention from the mainstream media. Sighting serious concerns, groups such as the Council of Canadians are calling for full transparency They are also demanding a comprehensive impact assessment, protection for public services and procurement, along with the exclusion of any investment chapter. There are fears that a Canada-EU CETA could include provisions such as NAFTA’s Chapter 11, which gives corporations the power to challenge governmental laws and regulations that restrict their profits. NDP International Trade critic Peter Julian recently berated Canadian negotiators for using the obsolete and harmful NAFTA template. He proclaimed, “We need to push the Canada-EU negotiations towards a much more progressive fair trade model.” Julian admitted, “It is regrettable that it seems to have been pushed aside for a NAFTA-style agreement that would decrease most Canadian incomes, encourage lower standards and lead to the loss of democratic sovereignty.” A Canada-EU CETA would further promote transatlantic ties and could later include the U.S., as well as Mexico.

In 2007, the U.S.-EU reached a deal on a new Transatlantic Economic Partnership in an effort to work towards eliminating trade barriers, increasing investment and streamlining harmonization on regulations. The agreement established the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) as a permanent body. Trade policy analyst, Daniella Markheim compared the TEC to the now defunct Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America. “Both the SPP and the TEC address property rights protection and enforcement, effective inspections and data sharing on food safety, border measures affecting trade, and other economic and security concerns.” She also added, “Both of these are forums that enable the U.S. and its significant trade partners to find new avenues to improve the flow of commerce and promote greater coherence and consistency in trade rules and regulations.” A Canada-EU free trade agreement would deepen transatlantic economic integration and advance plans for a common market in the region.

Negotiations are proceeding quickly which could lead to a Canada-EU CETA being signed by 2011. The deal would be subject to compatibility with the terms of NAFTA and could help revive and expand the trilateral accord. In addition to further liberalizing trade in goods, services, investment and procurement, it could also include a labour mobility provision. Interlocking superstates are the foundation for global governance and much like the formation of the EU, a North American Union is being created incrementally. Take NAFTA, along with the SPP agenda which is still moving forward through other initiatives, combine it with the TEC, as well as a Canada-EU CETA and you have the basis for a Transatlantic Union.

Source

Because of NAFTA hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost in Canada.

In the first month alone over 100,000 jobs were lost. They have continued to vanish. It was and still is a crappy agreement. Oh sure there were jobs created ones that payed much less however. The descent jobs vanished and people were driven into poverty. Worker safety declined as well. Workers rights went down as well.  Hiring agency’s moved in. They suck the big one.

Lots of privatization happened, which also drove down wages. Work for welfare happened also driving down wages. Nothing like a good slave working for free. People were abused and still are all the time. Some people really love slaves.  Of course when you have free labor you also loose more jobs to the free slave labor and more people end up in extreme poverty. Many end up up working for welfare and they too become slaves. Good for Canada for being so stupid. Makes for lots of desperate workers however.

Even a lot of farmers went out of business. One should always protect the people that feed you.

Safety standards for products also disappear.

Free Trade agreement are terrible. Your standard of living will get worse and the stuff you buy is more times then not, just  junk.  Quality bottoms out.

The cost of living goes up. Privatization drive the cost of living way up. Heat, hydro, water, food  etc. goes up drastically.  Few profit and more are driven into poverty. This has happened in all countries, that participate in Free Trade. The rich get richer and the poor get very much poorer.

If Harper isn’t doing things to take Canadian jobs away, as Free Trade agreements actually do that, he is attempting to remove Canadians freedom of speech.

Israel: Attempting to take away Canadians Freedom of Speech

Or not being truthful to the Canadian public.

Canada: Heavily edited Afghan documents prove need for inquiry

Or does anyone remember this one

Stephen Harper hid the actual cost of the War

Do Canadians now know the true cost of the War. No of course not.

Because of the war Canadians are now in Debt.  A war based on lies I might add.

Canada is going down hill. Not the wonderful place it once was.

Canada: Stephen Harper’s Assault on Democracy

The Harper government has obstructed the issuance of a visa to Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, resulting in the cancellation of Dr. Barghouti’s upcoming speaking tour in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.  Dr. Barghouti applied for a visa on March 5th, for entry into Canada on March 19th, yet despite the urgency of the issue being brought directly to high-level officials in Foreign Affairs and Citizenship and Immigration, the government delayed the issuance of a visa to the point where Barghouti missed two key flights, resulting in a cancellation of Barghouti’s visit.  In addition to being a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and a former presidential candidate, Dr. Barghouti is a recent Nobel Peace Prize nominee.  In the past, Dr. Barghouti has received a visa to Canada within 24 hours after applying.

Source

This one is beyond appalling
Respect MP George Galloway has been blocked from visiting Canada because of his support for Hamas, the country’s immigration office has said.
Opposition New Democratic Party MP Olivia Chow accused the government of “censorship” for not allowing Mr Galloway to tout his anti-war messages in Canada.

Denying him entry to this country is “an affront to freedom of speech” and shows the Canadian government “is frightened of an open debate on an unpopular war,” she said. Source

George Galloways only crime is he care about the people of Gaza and the fact they are suffering from lack of everything. Food, medical care etc etc etc. That is no reason to ban him from a country any country.

I am guessing this Jewish British MP Sir Gerald would be banned from Canada as well. He wasn’t to pleased with Israel either.

Canada certainly has changed since Harper was elected and not for the better.

Even his party members need permission to talk to the press. How sad, even they do not have freedom of speech.

Proroguing parliament twice in as many years, has not sat well with Canadian either.

Harper is shooting himself in the foot.

He is suppose to respect and work for Canadians, but that  is not what is happening.

Recent

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Foreign control of large swathes of the Sinai Peninsula obtained through fraud and Israeli involvement

Mossad using Spanish passport Arrested in Algeria

British MPs call for review of arms export to Israel

Australia: Fraser calls for expulsion of Israeli diplomats

Israel to Allow Shoes into Gaza Strip After Three Year Ban

UK warns of Israel travel amid passport scandal

Tony Blair’s attempt to keep his Iraqi Oil Profits a secret

Women in Iraq Miss Saddam

Israel condemned at Arab summit over Israel’s illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land

Published in: on April 2, 2010 at 5:34 am  Comments Off on Canada and the European Union: Advancing the Transatlantic Agenda  
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Will the global economic crisis save or kill NAFTA?

Jan. 2008: Demonstrators carry an oversized replica of a corn cob to protest the removal of import tariffs on farm goods from U.S. and Canada, as agreed by the North American Free Trade Agreement (AP Photo / Eduardo Verdugo)

January  4 2009

By Parminder Parmar

For years, NAFTA had remained dormant as a significant issue in American and Canadian federal political campaigns.

In both countries, the viability of the free trade agreement between Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. hadn’t been questioned since the early 1990s.

Sure, there have been disputes — for example, over softwood timber — but the trade pact, itself, was never in doubt.

That is, until this spring 2008. That’s when the Democratic presidential candidates thrust NAFTA back into the political limelight, telling voters they wanted to take a second look at the deal.

“I think we should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage to ensure that we actually get labour and environmental standards that are enforced,” Barack Obama told Democrats in Cleveland, Ohio, during the primaries.

The man who is now U.S. president-elect was trying to sway voters in the region who’ve seen hundreds of thousands of jobs shipped overseas since the 1990s.

Proving the old adage about politics and strange bedfellows, the NDP’s Jack Layton didn’t skip a beat. He went on CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” to tell the anti-immigration crusader that some Canadians don’t think the pact is such a good idea, either.

Pro-NAFTA forces both here and in the U.S. appeared dismayed at the resurgence of all the protectionist talk. They probably needn’t worry any more, says an expert on the pact.

“Look at the election speeches and the (U.S.) primaries in places like Pennsylvania and Ohio. You will find there were all sorts of things being promised, being talked about, that have suddenly gone to the backburner,” Ron Wonnacott, professor emeritus in the economics department at the University of Western Ontario told CTV.ca.

Wonnacott, who has been researching and writing about U.S.-Canada trade relations since the 1960s, says the emergence of the economic crisis this fall changed everything.

“I would put NAFTA way down in their (lawmakers’) list of priorities — if it’s any sort of objective at all at this point,” he says bluntly.

But Wonnacott says the economic downturn will also likely bring out protectionist forces in both Canada and the U.S.

“Protectionists’ pressures will come from just about every court … every industry under pressure will be asking for relief,” he says, adding that will mean calls for more trade barriers and higher tariffs.

Is it all about Mexico?

But Wonnacott adds that in the U.S., most of the pressure lawmakers face will have to do more with Mexico than with Canada. He’s careful to point out, however, that Canada shouldn’t assume that some Americans will not look north as they try to protect industries, particularly when it comes to the automobile sector.

“I don’t see the Americans taking this action,” he says, adding, “but in this climate, never say never.”

Wonnacott suspects that talk of an expanded hemispheric trade deal will die down in the current climate. He says, however, there may be bilateral agreements that are signed.

He also notes that as North America and the world begins to come out of the recession, initiatives to further liberalize trade will emerge again.

“But right now, given the problems that countries now face … the big problem on the trade front will be defensive,” he says.

Recognizing this, Canadian, U.S., and world leaders have warned against protectionist pressures that may further hurt the global economy.

Former U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin told CTV’s Canada AM this month, she believes the current climate will force everyone, including the president-elect to rethink their campaign rhetoric about NAFTA.

“I think (Obama) is going to see some conditions that will allow him to temper his position,” the Alaskan governor said.

“It’s a good agreement and our trade partnering with Canada is extremely valuable. The number of jobs created as a result of NAFTA has been good for both of our countries.”

Even Obama has backtracked from his initial call to re-open NAFTA unilaterally, noting that he doesn’t believe that “we can draw a moat around the American economy.”

But Wonnacott notes that the current economic crisis is relatively unprecedented — and it’s not easy to predict political or economic winds.

“It’s uncharted territory,” he says.

Source

April 7, 2005
Since the North American Free Trade Agreement was signed by the first Bush and the now reviled Carlos Salinas in 1992, over 4000 Mexican workers, many of them campesinos displaced from the land by NAFTA agricultural imports, have died trying to cross that line to find a job no North American citizen will work.
They have drowned in the All-American Canal and the river that Mexico calls the Rio Bravo and the U.S. the Rio Grande.

They have been bitten by vipers running through south Texas, suffocated to death in boxcars, died in car crashes after high speed chases or simply been shot down by the Migra and their volunteer vigilantes.

They have fallen into ravines or froze to death in the winter snow up in the Rumarosa, the most dangerous part of the border to which it is U.S. immigration policy to chase them in a strategy to “up the risks” of migration. And mostly they have dropped out there in the cruel desert never to rise again as the vultures circle slowly in the spotless heavens above.  Source

November 17, 2003

Since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed in 1993, the rise in the U.S. trade deficit with Canada and Mexico through 2002 has caused the displacement of production that supported 879,280 U.S. jobs. Most of those lost jobs were high-wage positions in manufacturing industries. The loss of these jobs is just the most visible tip of NAFTA’s impact on the U.S. economy. In fact, NAFTA has also contributed to rising income inequality, suppressed real wages for production workers, weakened workers’ collective bargaining powers and ability to organize unions, and reduced fringe benefits. Source

NAFTA: Manufacturing job loss in Canada*
After 15 years under NAFTA Canada is a much more unequal society. Free trade boosters still credit the agreement with increasing employment and
prosperity, but though ‘compensation’ for a few corporate CEOs has rocketed up, NAFTA has in fact contributed to the loss of manufacturing jobs and exerted a downward pressure on wages. Here’s the real story on jobs and NAFTA:
• In the last 6 years, we have lost 350,000 manufacturing jobs. That’s like 150 good jobs disappearing every day. And it’s getting worse.

• The job loss is hitting many different industries all over the country: auto, food processing, forestry products, textiles, metals, furniture etc. The details are different, but
the story is the same: decline in orders lost to cheaper imports, missed investment, job cutbacks and plant closures.
• Too many of the new jobs being created today are low-paying, insecure jobs with fewer benefits, particularly for women.
• Canada is increasingly becoming a society of haves, and have-nots with the gap in wealth growing every year. Source


Food safety, free trade and the election

If ever voters have power, it’s now – and that includes putting your candidates under the microscope on food safety issues. Common Frontiers sends along a link to a useful site (Food Safety First) for voters that offers insight from various media reports on the timing of cuts to safety inspection programs and the outbreak of listeriosis. In my view, the finest work has been done by Toronto Star investigative reporter Robert Cribb, working in conjunction with his colleagues at the CBC.

What does food safety have to do with free trade? A great deal, argues Common Frontiers, a Canadian group critical of the trend towards economic integration – harmonization, as it’s politely put – of standards under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Rick Arnold, the group’s executive director, says deregulation in the food industry in Canada has its genesis with the folks at the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), an ongoing program among Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to harmonize across-the-board. In other words, standards in Canada are lowered to match those south of both borders. Says Arnold:

“Part of the SPP agenda involves developing common North American standards on how food is produced, how it is inspected, how it is processed and how it is moved from one place to another. Common food safety standards developed in the public interest might be a good idea. But the SPP is not about raising food standards. It is about removing ‘trade irritants’ and deregulating the food industries.”

Arnold criticizes the secrecy surround SPP decisions. An exception, he says, was the 2006 SPP report that identified stricter pesticide residue limits in Canada as a “barrier to trade,” a finding resulting in the relaxation of Canadian standards. Large corporations appear to have privileged access to the SPP process under the umbrella of the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC). Arnold asks Canadians to check out the food safety site and, if they have questions, take them to candidates in their ridings to find out where they stand. Now is the best time to expect answers.  Source

This has nothing to do with the Free Trade Agreement with the US but it is rather interesting all the same. Something Canadian should be aware of at the very least.

January 3 2008

Manuel Rozenthal, a long-time international solidarity activist and surgeon, is a member of the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca, a political organization that works with indigenous communities in Southwest Colombia. He recently toured Canada, sponsored by the Canadian Labour Congress, speaking about the proposed Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, a deal that has been kept almost completely out of the public eye by the Harper government.

Stuart Neatby caught up with Rozenthal in Edmonton in the midst of this tour.

Stuart Neatby: What do we know about the proposed Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement and what are its implications for the Colombian people?

Manuel Rozenthal: We know very little, but what we know is of enormous concern.

The so-called negotiations between Canada and Colombia started in July of this year after the visit of Harper to four Latin American countries, including Colombia. On the 26th of November, the fourth round began in Lima and there were rumours and statements pointing to the fact that it might be definitely signed soon, that they might reach an agreement. They have been kept confidential, in almost absolute secrecy, and the communiquÃs that have come out about the state of the negotiations are almost impossible to understand by anybody without good technical knowledge of trade deals.

Secondly, it is the same or more profound agreement that was negotiated with the US that the U.S. congress is refusing to sign with Colombia because of profound concerns of environmental and human rights.

To summarize the concern in a nutshell about free trade agreements, I think that first ” it is not a free trade agreement. I have in my hands the Colombia-U.S. free trade agreement and it’s(TM)s more than 1300 pages long. If it was truly a free trade agreement, it would be very short. It would state that your goods and products would enter my country and mine would enter yours under equal conditions of reciprocity.

But, when you read this text, you actually discover that it is a supra-national constitution that allows access for multi-national corporations, financial and otherwise, to all resources, territory, labour, government contracts, and savings throughout the country with which the agreement is signed. Therefore it is an agreement signed between government officials, on behalf of corporate interests, at the expense of the wealth and the labour of the poorest countries involved, but also affecting dramatically the well-being of the poorest people and labour in the wealthy country at the same time. And that is, in a nutshell, what the agreement is.

One of the biggest recent political scandals in Colombia has been the links that have emerged between high level political officials and paramilitaries. A sort of parallel scandal that has been playing out in recent months has been that of legal court cases, linking multi-national corporations to the Autodefensias Unidas de Colombia (AUC) paramilitaries as well.

Can you talk about the pattern of multi-national corporate involvement with the AUC and what interests for them it actually serves to employ these paramilitaries?

What is very important to do is to make the links between the use of violence and the corporate support for these death squads, all in connection or related to these free trade agreements. I can begin by examining what happened to Chiquita.

Chiquita accepted in court an agreement that acknowledged that it had funnelled $1.7 million in support for the paramilitaries, which the U.S. has declared a terrorist organization. The horrendous thing about these statements is the fact that the $25 million [settlement] was given to the U.S. government! Not a cent of it went to any Colombian victim of the paramilitaries that were supported by Chiquita.

Chiquita was recently sued once again by Jonathan Reiter, a lawyer in New York City. He sued them on behalf of 393 victims of the death squads, either relatives of the people who had been killed or disappeared, or people who had been directly affected by the company’s practices. What Reiter argued is that Chiquita did not have to channel funds to the paramilitaries to protect itself from threats. In fact Chiquita actually funded, trained, and armed paramilitary forces as part of its systematic operations in the country in order to increase profit, dismantle labour, and forcibly remove people from the land that they wanted to use to produce bananas.

Now there is worse evidence coming out: the paramilitaries have confessed. The highest commanders of these death squad forces have stated that every one of the six banana companies that act in Colombia has paid between three and four cents U.S. for each banana that has been produced. So in fact the amount of money that has been delivered to paramilitaries has been enormous. There are three American companies still with the largest proportional Banana production in Colombia: Chiquita, Del Monte and Dole, which have all funded and armed paramilitaries, according to the testimony of those funded by them.

Some of this testimony [states that] whenever the company wanted some land, they would approach the poor peasants in the region ” the rightful owners of this land ” and offer to buy the land for no money at all. If these people refused to sell their land, the next thing they heard was a threat. Following the threat, if they didn’t leave, was the commission of a massacre either using chainsaws to cut people alive into pieces, or mass graves and assassinations, or mass displacement.

So that’s the case of the banana plantations. Drummond, a coal and gas producing company, was also sued because a high official from Colombia witnessed Drummond officials passing lists of union leaders on to paramilitary commanders. Some of those leaders were later murdered or disappeared. Glencore, the Swiss multinational, was involved with similar kinds of activities. Then Coca-Cola was sued because union leaders at four of their plants were threatened and murdered by paramilitaries in order to dismantle their negotiated agreement and to dismantle the union.

If you add up these specific cases and go around the country, you discover that these are systematic practices, that Colombia is the most dangerous place in the world for trade union workers. More than 2500 trade unionists have been murdered in the last 10 years, targeted specifically in areas that were either privatized or delivered to multi-national corporations. During the Uribe administration over the last six years, more than 500 trade union leaders have been assassinated, 28 of them this year. So there is ample evidence that terror is used in a systematic way to cheapen the cost of production and access to resources and territories in order to increase the profit of corporate interests and multinational corporations.

What the free trade agreements do is to legalize and legitimize what terror has achieved for them. And that is why signing a free trade agreement with Colombia is actually becoming an accomplice to the use of terror to make profits.

And terror, of course ” together with extreme destruction of nature and exploitation of people ” is necessarily what the free trade agreement between Canada and Colombia is all about.

Source

In Colombia’s mineral-rich underworld, often demarcated by the full-scale destruction of towns near mining sites, environmental contamination, paramilitary attacks and assassinations of those who stand up to mining interests, Canadian hands are dirtier than those of a coal miner coming up from the pit.

Privatization, Pollution and Free Trade, WTO

World Leaders Must Roll Back Radical WTO Financial Service Deregulation

Alberta Oil Sands a Pollution Nightmare

By Timothy B. Hurst
December 6 2008
Extraction and refining heavy oil from Canadian tar sands will have increasingly devastating impacts on migratory bird populations, according to a new study.

oil refinery in canadian tar sands

According to anew report, the cumulative impact of developing Canadian tar sands over the next 30–50 years could be as high as 166 million birds lost, including future generations. Written by scientists from the Natural Resources Defense Council, Boreal Songbird Initiative, and Pembina Institute, the peer-reviewed paper suggests that avian mortality from continued development of Canada’s tar sands would provide a serious blow to migratory bird populations in North America.

It is estimated that half of America’s migratory birds nest in the Boreal forest, and each year 22–170 million birds breed in the area that could eventually be developed for tar sands oil if the rate of development continues at it is currently planned.

“At a time when bird populations are rapidly declining, this report puts into perspective the far reaching effects of tar sands oil development on North America’s birds,” said the report’s lead author Jeff Wells, Ph.D. of the Boreal Songbird Initiative. “The public needs to understand the real and long-term ecological costs of this development and determine if this is acceptable,” added Wells.

suncor tar sands mining in alberta, canada

In Alberta, tar sands mining and drilling causes significant habitat loss and fragmentation. Expansive toxic tailings ponds are protected by propane cannons that are used to keep ducks from landing in them.

toxic oil shale tailings

When those cannons fail, we see unfortunate accidents like the one this past summer in Alberta when some 500 ducks were killed after landing in a tailings pond. Toxic tailing ponds result in 8,000 to 100,000 oiled and drowned birds annually.

duck being cleaned of oil

Authors of the report suggest that an immediate solution to the unsustainable pace of development and to environmental problems relating to tar sands oil development is a moratorium on all new projects, project expansions, and to clean up existing projects.

For Canada to take the kind of substantive action necessary to prevent the ecological damage suggested by this report, it may require international pressure; the kind of pressure that could be applied by a renegotiated NAFTA that strengthens environmental laws, something that president-elect Obama has suggested he would like to see.

Images courtesy of: 1. & 3. David Dodge/Pembina Institute; 2. & 4. D. Faucher/Ducks Unlimited; 5. Sun Media Corp.

Source

The report covers the various ways tar sands development affects bird populations, including:

-Habitat Loss
-Tailings Ponds and Oiled Birds
-Fragmentation of Habitat from Drilling
-Water Withdrawals
-Air and Water Toxins
-High Emissions and Global Warming

In the Beginning.

1970’s Film – The Tar Sands

This clip shows the various refinement steps required to convert tar sands into usable crude oil and other petroleum products.

The methods have changed since then, but the  environmental impact is still very disturbing.

As Alberta’s tar sands production continues to increase at a rapid rate new ‘tailings ponds’ or toxic lakes from spent refining of the heavy crude oil trapped in sand are popping up everywhere and kilometers in size for the most part.

Tar Sands the Beginning of the End of the Carbon Age -Clearing the forest for the Oil Sands

At the Athabasca tar sands deposits north of Fort McMurray companies like Syncrude move unfettered and with strong support from local media companies despite the high pollution levels and carbon dioxide emissions.

America Looks to Canada’s Tar Sands for Next Century As the neighbor to the north Canada it appears is more then happy to develop its tar sands at any cost and as fast as possible despite the environmental fallout from the heavy crude oil reserves.

Source for Videos

Alberta  Oil Sands Cause Acid Rain

The Human Cost

By Matthew Kruchak and James Wood
February 16, 2008

Acid rain caused by Alberta oilsands production is pouring down on Saskatchewan and if governments don’t take note, any oilsands development in this province will contribute to the “most destructive project on Earth,” the Environmental Defence organization warns.

A report released Friday by the group says 70 per cent of the sulphur entering Alberta’s air ends up in Saskatchewan. Acid rain is produced by the interaction between water, sulphur and nitrogen oxides.

“Acid rain causes damage and death to the ecosystem and also human health,” said Christopher Hatch, a climate change campaigner with Environmental Defence. “People in Saskatchewan should be very concerned that neither the federal nor provincial governments are getting to the bottom of this.

“So what is it that they don’t want people to know? There’s obviously a problem — any layperson can tell that. Why are they not funding studies to ensure human health?”

The report, titled Canada’s Toxic Tar Sands: The Most Destructive Project on Earth, outlines the environmental and human health effects of the oilsands and offers the federal government solutions, Hatch said.

“It’s a toxic nightmare — it really is,” he said. “To fly over the Alberta oilsands as it is — and it’s only just beginning — it’s a toxic moonscape.”

The group is calling on the federal government to step in and force the cleanup or work with the Alberta government to address environmental issues, he said.

In the past 12 years, at a Saskatchewan site (which was not identified) 200 kilometres downwind from the oilsands, the mean level of acid in precipitation had increased, the report stated, with measurements going from pH 5.3 to 4.1. Normal rainfall has a pH of 5.6.

Saskatchewan Environment ran 10 monitoring stations across the oilsands in the northwest of the province and found a buildup of nitrogen from Alberta, the report stated in a section called Raining Acid on Saskatchewan.

“On the toxic front, it’s really a looming human health disaster,” Hatch said.

Environment Minster Nancy Heppner had little to say about the report Friday.

Asked about the environmental impact of the Alberta oilsands projects, Heppner said she didn’t have any details.

“I’ve heard things, that water’s being contaminated and those sorts of things. I don’t have any specifics. I haven’t seen the report you are talking about today and obviously there’s more information we’ll be looking at to make sure that if there were mistakes made on the Alberta side that we won’t be making those here,” Heppner told reporters at the legislature just before leaving for a climate change conference in Australia.

However, she said the government is concerned about acid rain from the oilsands.

“I understand there’s some concern and we’ve met with some people, some residents of northern Saskatchewan, who are concerned about acidification of our lakes and that’s something we’re going to look at,” said Heppner.

NDP environment critic Sandra Morin questioned Heppner’s lack of knowledge about the report.

Morin said “she had no reason to doubt” the report’s characterization of the oilsands as “the most destructive project on Earth.”

“It’s incredibly distressing that 70 per cent of the acid rain, the contamination, is going to be affecting Saskatchewan. Clearly, with the development happening there and 70 per cent of those emissions affecting Saskatchewan people, one has to be concerned about the further development of the oilsands in Alberta, which is supposed to triple in the next 10 years, not to mention the further development of the oilsands projects that are happening in Saskatchewan.”

The Saskatchewan Party government is supportive of oilsands projects in this province, but Heppner said the environment won’t be sacrificed.

“We are committed as a government going forward with development to make sure the environment is protected. There are environmental impact assessments that are done for projects and that will certainly be the case going forward. We do not want our environment to be destroyed while we develop our province,” she said.

Officials from the Ministry of Environment were unavailable for comment Friday.

A representative from Oilsands Quest, a company leading the development of the oilsands industry in Saskatchewan, was also unavailable for comment Friday.

Source

I  love this car more every day.

Solar car completes 1st round-the-world trip

These ones too.

Car that runs on air!

Air Car (1 of 2) from France

Air Car (2 of 2) from Australia

The UN’s carbon trading system in numbers

The United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism was intended to offer rich countries an efficient market mechanism to achieve some of of their emission-cutting obligations at lower cost by installing green technology in developing countries. Since the Kyoto Protocol came into force in 2005, more than 1,800 projects have been registered.

In other words Carbon Credits means going into another country setting up a facility and selling the product. Privatization and profit.

This does nothing to remove pollution from ones country just an opportunity for profit in another country.

Pollution should be removed from your own country, not using another country to make it look like you are removing pollution from your own.

Carbon Credits are bogus.

Added May 15 2012

Stop Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker project

Please Sign petition below.

http://freedomtrain2012.nationbuilder.com/

Added September 7 2010

More birds dying in Alberta oil sands than first reported

‘Secret’ Environment Canada presentation warns of oilsands’ impact on habitat December 22, 2011

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue March 2 2012

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Privatization, Pollution and Free Trade, WTO

Watch this new 11-min short documentary, “Rivers at Risk: Glacier & Howser Creeks,” by POWERPLAY producer Damien Gillis on the battle to protect a treasured piece of Kootenay wilderness from private power development.

This video is the second installment in Save Our Rivers Society’s new “Rivers at Risk” series, which profiles different rivers around BC threatened by private power development – told in the words of the local citizens batting to protect them.  Featuring stunning high definition footage of this spectacular BC wilderness, revered by outdoor enthusiasts.

Watch video – high resolution
Having trouble streaming the high-res version?  Watch video – medium resolution

Five pristine rivers around Duncan Lake – near Kaslo in the spectacular West Kootenays – are threatened by a 120 MW private river power proposal by Axor Corp.  The plan is to divert up to 90% of each of these rivers, including beloved Glacier and Howser Creeks, into a 4.5 metre-wide 16 KM tunnel to generate electricity and private profits for Axor Corp. and its investors.  As the water will never return to the original creeks from which it is diverted (instead dumping it into the Lake below) this cannot be rightly called “run of river” power.

The impacts on the local environment – including further degradation from the 25 roads and 250,000 cubic metres of waste-rock muck generated by project – will further endanger resident blue-listed bull trout and other important ecological values.

One of the most environmentally troubling aspects of the proposal is the plan to get the power out of the valley by way of a 100 metre-wide 91KM transmission corridor carved out of old growth forests through the pristine Purcell mountain range.  But perhaps opponents’ biggest concern is the erosion of democratic values and loss of public control over our resources, especially our watersheds.

In a time of climate change and shrinking natural resources, it’s imperative that we hang onto our water and energy security – two values that are directly undermined by the BC Liberal government’s secretive agenda to privatize our rivers and public power system under the false guise of “energy self-sufficiency” and “green power.”  As this video and the situation around the Glacier/Howser proposal illustrate, there is nothing in this private river power scheme that benefits the public or the environment.

Source

Privatization also drives up the cost for consumers. Have to pay owners and dividends to investors.

This of course drives up the price of hydro. We all remember Enron Right?

There are other companies like Enron out there and who wants to be stuck with that.

What private Corporations do to land is everyone’s concern.

Environmental concerns are extremely important.

Here is a report about Free Trade and how it has affected a few things.

NAFTA rights arising from private sector hydroelectric generation in British Columbia

By Wendy R. Holm P.Ag.

Friday, 26 September 2008

It is a commonly held belief that the greatest risks to Canada’s water resources under NAFTA are related to exports. In fact, the more immediate area of public policy concern is not water exports but water use in Canada by firms that are American or have US investors.

Private sector firms issued water licenses by government – be it for hydroelectric generation or for snowmaking – hold NAFTA rights far superior to any rights held by Canadians if those firms are American or have American investors.

Investment Provisions of the NAFTA

Investor rights – which trump conflicting provincial legislation – include the right to national treatment and compensation for losses to investment, profits, markets and goodwill if those rights are expropriated by the Government of Canada or any province

For many years, I and others have held up Alberta’s oil patch as the clearest example of water rights arising from domestic takings. Whether by water flooding (conventional oil and gas drilling) or by deep steam injection (extracting bitumen from the oil sands), water used by US firms (or firms with American investors) for energy extraction in Alberta’s oil patch is covered by NAFTA.

In a paper published in The University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review March 9, 2007, Joseph Cumming and Robert Froehlich examine in detail the effect of NAFTA on Alberta’s ability to use regulation as a public policy measures to protect its water resources.

Assuming a cutback in water use due to extended drought mandated under the Alberta Water Act, the authors present a case law review of relevant NAFTA Chapter XI Tribunals (Ethyl Corporation, SunBelt, Pope and Talbot, Metalclad, SD Meyers and Methanex) then go on to look at the success of a potential compensation claim by American firms whose investments in energy extraction suffer as a result of reduced access to the province’s water resources. Their conclusion:

“… the Government of Alberta, and therefore the Government of Canada, may face difficult financial consequences if the Director suspends or cancels a water license for environmental protection purposes. There are strong arguments available to a US investor that support the position that a cancellation or suspension of a water license is an indirect expropriation, or a measure tantamount to an expropriation, thereby resulting in substantial compensation being payable. In the case of an oil sands operation that is shut down as a result of a loss of its water license… a successful Chapter XI claim could be exceptionally high. Consider the loss of capital expenditures, the nullification of past expenditures, and the lost marketability of the future oil production.”

And while Canada could attempt to “settle” such suits before they reach a NAFTA panel, this “may allow environmental legislation and regulation to survive, but would do so at a tremendous cost” requiring Canada to, in effect, “purchase its environmental sovereignty by settling its way out of Chapter XI claims.”

Arguing the presence of external pressure by foreign investors undoubtedly constrains Canada’s ability to enforce its environmental policy, the authors go on to note:

“the implications for Canadian environmental sovereignty in this circumstance are clear. A private investor could essential force the hand of a Canadian legislative body. A US investor, who is not accountable to the Canadian public and who may have no concern for the Canadian environment, could potentially influence how internal Canadian environmental policy and legislation is treated. As a result of the potential for a significant compensation award to be issued, a single US investor, through the threat of use of a Chapter XI claim, may be able to cause Canadian legislation to be altered or even repealed.”

To read the full review, click on this link: Cumming, Joseph and Robert Froehlich. NAFTA Chapter XI and Canada’s Environmental Sovereignty: Investment Flows, Article 1110 and Alberta’s Water Act, The University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review March 9, 2007.

It also contains a few cases, previously litigated. Very enlightening indeed.


Implications of NAFTA Investment Provisions on Hydro Privatization in BC

There is no difference between water used for bitumen extraction, water used for hydroelectric production, or water used to make snow for a ski hill. When the entity holding rights to Canada’s water is American or has American investors, all such takings are covered by NAFTA.

NAFTA investment defenses would trump (and, experts fear, eventually influence the direction of) provincial and federal environmental laws. Even when water licenses are reduced or canceled on a non-discriminatory basis, for a public purpose, and pursuant to provincial legislation, they give rise to NAFTA claims for compensation under Chapter 11.

The result is an erosion of Canadian policy sovereignty and a denigration of the rights of Canadian communities vis a vis foreign investors.

This risk is unacceptably high when the commodity in question is water.

Source

This affects all countries not just Canada, but this is a good example of things that have and are being done around the world.

Water is also used in mining operations. Contamination from mining is quite devastating.

Many of the problems with Free Trade is also applied to air pollution.

If a Government tries to stop air pollution the Corporations can also sue for lost profits and probably win.

However are we to stop climate change, as long as Trade agreements do nothing to protect the environment?

Read the Review and think about the implications to water and air pollution.

Moving and entire water way is not something we should allow. It would destroy the eco system around it.

Are one of these companies in your neighborhood?

Many are in other countries around the world and they pollute there as well as in the US.

Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2007 in US

Poverty in Canada is Very Real and Rising

November 18 2008

Poverty in Canada

In 2006, the value of goods and services produced in Canada was over a trillion dollars – amounting to an estimated $35,600 in wealth generated for every man, woman and child in the country, or $142,400 for a family of four.  Despite this vast wealth, there is an ever-widening gap between high-income and low-income individuals and households in Canada. This “growing gap” is contributing to a widening social divide in Canada: a comparative few have unlimited opportunity to fulfill their dreams and potential; many more citizens strain to meet their basic needs. (For excellent detailed information on the growing gap, maintained by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, check here .)

At least 3.4 million people – or about one in ten Canadians – lived in poverty in Canada in 2006. They included an estimated 760,000 children and youth. Demographic groups most susceptible to poverty include Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, single parents (primarily women) and their children, recent immigrants to Canada, and those toiling in low-paying jobs.

To live in poverty in Canada is to live with insufficient and often poor quality food. It is to sleep in poor quality housing, in homeless shelters, or on city streets. It is to be at much greater risk of poor health. It is to be unable to participate fully in one’s community and greater society. And it is to suffer great depths of anxiety and emotional pain, borne by young and old alike.

The persistence of poverty and income inequality, and their negative impacts on health, social cohesion and economic prosperity calls out for vision, leadership and unwavering determination to tackle the root causes of these problems. The National Anti-Poverty Organization is dedicated to this agenda.

Did You Know?

There is no official definition of poverty in Canada and no official “poverty lines” for the nation. However, there are several measures of “low income” which are often used as proxies for poverty lines.  These measures include the Low Income Cut-off (LICO), the Low Income Measure (LIM) and the Market Basket Measure (MBM). For a short review of these measures, check here (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).   NAPO

Since 2006 the poverty rates in Canada have increased a great deal.

One in five children live in poverty or more.  Canada does not keep very good statistics in this area.

I do believe the Government wants to hide the truth form it’s citizens.

There are more full time working homeless people then ever before.

There are more Homeless then before 1995.

Ontario for the first time in history has become a have not province.

Of course Mike Harris and de-regulation and numerous other policies had a profound affect on the necessities such as heat, hydro and housing.  All drastically increased.

His legacy lives on in Ontario. Seems his policies played a great role in the problems Ontario now faces today.

Affordable housing is a thing of the past.

Cutting welfare rates by 20% had a dramatic affect on people. It also took out money from the economy and job losses did occur because of the cuts. Less people spending money means job losses.

Implementing the Work For Welfare also played a great role in lowering wages and punishing the jobless. Working for six months and then one is moved on to the next employers. The employer gets free labour. So why would they hire a person when they can get a new free worker in six months?

Employers also abuse the work incentive programs. Hire an employee and you get a percentage of the wages for the employee from the Government. Many times the employee is fired after the six month period and the Employer hires another employee and gets well you said it a portion of their wages for yet another six month period and the cycle continues.

Abusive employers are common.

His policies on the working people, also decreased wages workers received, and their safety.

Less people spending money, causes job losses.

Many of the Harris policies have been implemented in other provinces as well.

Canadians are not the wealthy strong country it once was.

Many of the policies implemented were in the Free Trade agreement.

Cutting Social programs, destroying labour, lowering wages, reducing environmental protections, de-regulation, etc.

Homelessness and hunger in Ontario

By Lee Parsons

23 October 1998

Several reports over the past weeks have drawn attention to the growth of hunger and homelessness across Canada, and in Ontario in particular.

One such study conducted by the Canadian Association of Food Banks, called “Hunger Count 1998,” reveals that the number of people forced to use food banks has increased dramatically in the past several years. More than 700,000 people used one of 2,141 food banks last year in Canada, an increase of 5.4 percent over 1996. The sharpest rise was in Nova Scotia, which saw an increase of 40 percent. Food bank use in Ontario, while climbing only 2.1 percent, has recorded an increase of over 30 percent in the last three years.

The Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto is the largest of its kind in Ontario and has become a permanent necessity since its establishment nearly 20 years ago. While the food bank issues reports regularly, the approach of winter in Ontario has focused media attention on a number of its recent publications that look at the broader effects of poverty in one of the wealthiest cities in North America.

While a good deal of attention, legitimately enough, has been paid to the plight of poor children in Ontario, who account for 41.5 percent of food bank users, the poverty of their parents and other adults is often overlooked. Revealing statistics in one report from Daily Bread, “Who goes hungry?,” show that among adults polled who use food banks, the majority were childless and a disproportionate two-thirds were in their thirties or forties–prime earning years. With incomes of between 25 to 50 percent below the government low-income cutoff or poverty line, the percentage of those counted as the poorest of the poor is increasing.

Another study reveals the connection between poor health and hunger, as well as other important features of systemic poverty in Ontario and in its largest urban center in particular. Entitled “No Apples today … maybe tomorrow,” the report declares that with almost one-third of those who use food banks suffering poor health, hunger is a health issue. While it may come as no surprise that those who lack adequate nutrition are also more likely to have poor health, this report is valuable in elaborating concretely the impact of the decline in living standards in the province. However, as the study itself states: “Food banks are not a viable option for addressing the long term problem of poor health and hunger.”

On another front the Toronto disaster relief committee issued a report last week calling homelessness a national disaster that should be treated like last winter’s devastating ice storm. Ontario Premier Mike Harris responded by saying, “I don’t know whether it’s a national state of emergency at this point of time. I don’t know whether it’s any worse than last year.”

Advocacy groups have raised the issue of homelessness in anticipation of a large shortfall in available space. Current shelters are filled to capacity. Last year in Toronto 26,000 people used emergency shelters, and that number is expected to increase over the next 12 months. It is estimated that 700 new beds will have to be found to meet the demand even if it stays at last year’s level. Some 4,700 individuals are currently homeless in Toronto, with about 4,200 of them staying in emergency shelters and the rest sleeping outside. The city has set up a task force to find a long-term solution, but without adequate funding officials are pressed simply to meet immediate needs.

Responding to a task force report on homelessness commissioned by her office, Ontario Social Services Minister Janet Ecker stated that the cuts to welfare would help Ontario’s homeless people to build a life off the streets (What BS that was). According to Ecker, the government is out of the subsidized housing business, which she declares is not the only answer to the problem. The report, while outlining the extent of the crisis, offers no solutions and places the responsibility on municipalities.

Ecker applauded the report and went on to boast that there are 133,000 fewer children on welfare today than in 1995 (many ended up homeless). The reason for this change is not that poor families have fared any better over that period, but that changes to welfare eligibility and a 21.6 cut in benefits have removed welfare as a means of support for thousands of poor families. Ecker’s ministry is reportedly seeking to expand the “workfare” program which is currently in place only for public sector and nonprofit agencies.

Opposition critics called the 22-page study pitiful, pointing out that while it calls for cities to get people off the streets and into hostels, the hostels are already full. In Toronto an advisory committee on homelessness has suggested setting up tent cities and trailer parks to solve the growing crisis. The solutions offered resemble measures taken in 1946 when the city faced a housing crisis resulting from the return of soldiers from the Second World War.

Referring to the destruction of social programs by both provincial and federal governments, Councilor Jack Layton, who heads the committee, stated, “The hostels are full, affordable housing programs have been canceled, rents are being allowed to go up–we really are stuck here, and we’ve been abandoned totally by Ottawa and Queen’s Park.” Ann Golden, head of Toronto’s homelessness task force, said the report ignores issues of poverty and the housing market, and the shortage of supportive housing needed to keep the mentally ill off the streets.

NDP Member of the Provincial Parliament Rosario Marchese stated, “This is a man-made crisis that can only be corrected by the provincial government taking the lead–and that means housing.” When the NDP was in power it pioneered the workfare program and quashed plans to build 20,000 nonprofit housing units, measures that contributed to the current social crisis.

Actions taken by every level of government have helped swell the ranks of the poor. The federal Liberals have cut billions from transfer payments to the provinces that finance social programs, while posting a surplus of nearly $20 billion in employment insurance since restricting eligibility and reducing rates last year. Over the last 10 years the proportion of the unemployed who actually qualify for benefits has fallen from 83 to 42 percent.

In Ontario the provincial Conservative government has deepened its victimization of the poor since slashing welfare rates three years ago. Hospital closings and cuts to health care have thrown thousands of mentally ill people into the streets to fend for themselves. Waiting lists for subsidized housing now extend years into the future, with no new housing being built and existing shelter being privatized.

In Toronto tuition hikes and a shortage of decent paying jobs have worsened conditions for thousands of young people. In typical fashion bureaucrats at city hall last summer launched a campaign to criminalize the so-called “squeegee kids,” youth who make money by washing car windshields.

The harsh economic reality is about to get worse. While the full impact of government cuts to welfare, social programs and subsidized housing are now making themselves felt, it is clear that the anticipated economic downturn will place whole new sections of the population in jeopardy.

The expressions of concern from the various parliamentary parties are hypocritical. The Liberals, Tories and NDP have each, over the past period, contributed to the growth of poverty in response to the demands of big business to divest government of social responsibility and leave the poor at the mercy of the market.

Source

Jobs outsourced to other countries also played a role in job losses as well. Many were out souced after the Free Trade Agreement was signed.

Those on welfare are more prone to illness caused by malnutrition and poor living conditions.

Job losses, low wages and lack of safety for workers have a profound impact on all concerned.

The fewer jobs, the more people have to depend on welfare. It’s a vicious circle.

Canada needs a change for a better future.

Canada is not alone in this however there are other countries, who have had increased poverty.

All the talk of Free Trade helping people out of poverty is just fabricated propaganda.

Free Trade gave Corporations everything they wanted. Cheap slave labour, more profit and the ability to pollute.

What Free Trade is Really About

From the original Canada-US free trade agreement and NAFTA to the WTO agreements and the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, these international treaties are about making it easier for the world’s largest corporations to lower their costs. It allows them to seek out the cheapest workers, the most lax environmental laws and to use the threat of relocation to get what they want. The notion that any country, its workers or consumers benefit from such agreements is a myth.

‘Millions’ of UK young in poverty

Nearly 30% of US Families Subsist on Poverty Wages

New USDA Statistics Highlight Growing Hunger Crisis in the U.S.

Links to Numerous Anti-Poverty Organizations around the world

World Bank director claims Federal Reserve is ‘part of government already’

You Tube | October 10, 2008

A caller on C-Span’s Washington Journal asserts that Congressman Ron Paul and Infowars.com are better sources to understand the current financial crisis than the dominant mainstream media and typical go-along political figures.

The caller also brings up the Federal Reserve as being the main issue that Washington needs to address.

Uri Dadush, Economic Department Director of the World Bank, seems stumped by the mention of the Federal Reserve, which he claims is ‘part of the system of U.S. government already’, before redirecting the conversation towards liquidity efforts in the private banking sector.

Dadush misses the point– perhaps out of confusion, and perhaps out of reluctance to discuss– that the Federal Reserve (which is private, but given power [unconstitutionally] by Congress) controls the money supply and can print at will.

Source

Seems he certainly was confused by the caller. If this is how well educated he is I would be skeptical of letting him anywhere near the World Bank, let alone be a Director of it. The Federal Reserve is privately owned and operated.

I guess the World Bank Director is OH misinformed. The Federal Reserve owns 54% of the Government one could say. Yes one could say that, as the Government owes them, that much money in comparison to what they owe the rest of the planet. Now lets see 54% of ten -elleven trillion = “yup they own the Government”. How comforting?

The caller is correct in a few of his comments.

The world Bank and IMF do put stipulations in when lending money to anyone.  They want countries to open their doors to Privatization and Capitalism.  Of course as we all now well know  Capitalism is a false foundation to stand upon. In view of the stock markets and bank failures of late.

They are rather forceful in wanting their natural resources to be used and abused.

Do they actually help or do they just help the corporations? Well seems they help the corporations exploit the countries. This of course leads to their natural resources being pillaged, plundered also polluting of the water and air.

From the original Canada-US free trade agreement and NAFTA to the WTO agreements and the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, these international treaties are about making it easier for the world’s largest corporations to lower their costs. It allows them to seek out the cheapest workers, the most lax environmental laws and to use the threat of relocation to get what they want. The notion that any country, its workers or consumers benefit from such agreements is a myth.

There are numerous organizations that could enlighten one on this issue. Of course it might take a bit of time to investigate.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund Encourage Free Trade agreements and opening up countries to Capitalism.  Neither is good for anyone in said countries however.

Seems they are not actually there to help ordinary people just the corporations, they just pretend to help the poor.

Headquarters

International Monetary Fund,

700 19th Street, N.W.,

Washington, D.C. 20431

Source

Headquarters

The World Bank

1818 H Street, NW

Washington, DC 20433 USA

Source

Should we all be a bit suspicious? Well yes.

When the rights of any group of people are removed, you too loose the very same rights.